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Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

49ers vs. Raiders: What Kyle Shanahan saw from his young WR group

Aug 13, 2023 at 5:00 PM--

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The San Francisco 49ers didn't play most of their starters during Sunday's preseason opener against the Las Vegas Raiders. That allowed some of the team's younger players to try to impress the coaches.

The team as a whole didn't impress, though, losing 34-7 at Allegiant Stadium. However, with stars like Deebo Samuel and Brandon Aiyuk not even suited up, head coach Kyle Shanahan was able to evaluate some of the younger receivers fighting for roster spots.

"I thought they did a good job," Shanahan told reporters after the game. "I mean, we sat a number of guys, and so we wanted to put some pressure on those guys, play them a little bit more than you do in a preseason game, especially Ronnie Bell, Tay Martin, getting all that playing time."

Bell ended up being the 49ers' leading receiver. He was targeted six times, catching three balls for 58 yards. Chris Conley hauled in three passes for 47 yards. Isaiah Winstead caught two for 22 yards, while Martin finished with two for 15 yards.

"I thought they did a good job," Shanahan continued. "I mean, Tay made almost a hell of a play [but] didn't get his feet inbounds. And I thought Ronnie did some really good things in the return game, had that good jet sweep ... His best route was the one [resulting in] the pick, so that was unfortunate, but I thought those guys show some good things."

The 49ers will return to Santa Clara to continue training camp practices and prepare for their final two preseason matchups, both home games at Levi's Stadium. Next up are the Denver Broncos on Saturday, August 19. Then, the team closes out its exhibition schedule against the Las Angeles Chargers on Friday, August 25.

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